Getting Hurt

You can get hurt pretty badly.

Yes, most people agree that girls usually get hurt at a younger age, often because they are more emotionally tuned in and put their heart into relationships at a younger age.

But guys do have emotions and do get hurt very deeply. Far more young men commit suicide than young women, and it is almost always associated with a break-up. Often young women are able to share the hurt of rejection with female friends who will listen and try to help them.

Often young men feel alone and ashamed to share their deep hurts with their buddies for fear of more rejection so they try to deal with it alone.

So let’s unwrap a few ideas about the emotional pain guys are dealing with.

First of all, rejection always hurts. Rejection by a friend who has become too cool for you can hurt, but the pain of rejection by a girl you really like hurts in a much different way. If your heart becomes attached to some young lady and she dumps you and walks away with some jerk, you will hurt pretty badly. Unfortunately, some of the pain comes because guys often look to the girl to answer that question that comes from deep in the heart of a guy, “Do I have what it takes . . . to succeed? . . . To be the man? . . . To win the girl?” These are questions about our identity. So many guys tie their sense of self and success by whether they can win the girl and keep the girl with them. It is like we try to prove to the world around us, “Look, this beautiful girl by my side is the evidence that I am the man.” Our culture feeds into this mindset by showing that the dude always gets the beauty. Problem is, if she is “the proof” that I have what it takes, what happens to my identity when she chooses to walk away? Do I become nothing then? Well, if I have made her my identity I guess I do have nothing at that point. So, often guys are setting themselves up for a big fall by not staying focused and becoming their own stable person before getting deeply connected to some young lady.

Another way guys are getting hurt so deeply, has to do with facing the reality that other guys have been sexual with their girl before they came along (or after). If a guy is only in a relationship to “get some” he will not hurt because the girl has been with other guys. But if he falls in love with her, everything changes. At that point, he feels like, “Whoa, this girl is amazing! Not only is she beautiful to me, but she understands me and even laughs at my dumb sense of humor . . . cool. Ok, clear away you jerks! She is mine, and now it’s just me and her in our secret garden”. That is a brief description of a guy in love. Now he finds out that before he came along other guys were doing her in that garden . . . PAIN! He feels like, “Why did you let that idiot in?” and “Oh, that guy too…he had his stuff in your body? How much of your heart and your memories are back there with Mr. ‘First love,’ the jerk?” And, “Oh yeah, by the way, where am I on your chart of sexual partners?” This pain runs so deep, and many guys feel all alone in dealing with it. True love can get past this, but it takes time and forgiveness.

Finally, the basic realities involved with getting a girl pregnant can bring a lot of emotional pain. Again, having to give up future academic and career plans can be pretty devastating. Many guys are also paying $500/month child support for a child they barely get to see. Some guys have pleaded with a girlfriend to keep a pregnancy and not abort the baby, but he has no real say in the matter if she goes ahead with it.

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